All about Time
I don't think I do more than many people. What I do might be more conspicuous - you see it, but I don't think I "do more".
How to be efficient? Do what you know. If I had to sit down and research every topic I wrote out in Expert One on One Oracle, or Effective Oracle by Design, they would have taken ages longer. Much of it I was able to type literally off the top of my head. Some of it needed research, but mostly in search of the best way to show something I knew to be true, or at least thought I knew to be true, sometimes it wasn't true! For example, did you know that in Oracle 10g, maxtrans as a physical storage characteristic is deprecated. That stumped me for a couple of minutes today in revising Expert One on One - my tests to show the effects of maxtrans worked in 9i but not in 10g. Case in point why test cases to demonstrate something are crucial, never would have known that otherwise. That is why in answering, I provide them (maybe that is another thing to add to the list of time management, would you believe me if I was wrong frequently? Would I have to spend more time convincing you without them. The test cases are my insurance policy)
If I had to figure out what I was writing about, I would be a lot less effective. I guess that is why my books will be last to market. By the time the second edition of Expert One on One Oracle hits the streets, I'm sure 10g R2 will be out. This is what I'll have to say about 10g R2 in my book:
This space intentionally left blank.
Just like I did about 9ir1 with the first edition and 10gr1 with Effective Oracle by Design. I wrote about what I already knew, I wasn't learning and writing at the same time.
On asktom - I deliberately say "Sorry, I haven't touched forms in 10 years - use otn.oracle.com". I used to burn some amount of time trying to track down an answer, but now know that just forwarding it on is the most efficient way to do it.
You have to figure out what is important too. I find deadlines are mandatory with me - give me a task I'm not 100% into without a deadline and forget it. It'll happen when it happens. Give me a deadline, something I can put on my calendar and it will happen.
I guess it is about commitment too though. If I say I'm going to do something, I work fairly hard to ultimately do it. Sometimes accomplishing a lot is a matter of signing up I guess. I coached an Odyssey of the Mind team again this year, my son is on it (they took second place). It meant trying to be home on Friday after school from 3:30-5:30 and for a couple of hours on Saturdays for a couple of months. It was a lot of work (getting a team of six 12 year olds to accomplish something without "outside intervention" is much like herding cats or mice. Really hard). I made a commitment to do it though. It wasn't a "in my spare time" sort of thing. There is no such thing as spare time. I had to set aside the time and just say it'll be done at this time.
So I guess it would boil down to
- Do what you know best.
Oh, and get a deadline if you are like me, deadlines are very useful. Nothing like an impending deadline to get me motivated.
Maybe this is most important of all, do something you like and think makes an impact. Then it hardly feels like work.